Sanders: ‘Health Care Should Be a Right of All People’

‘We should not be paying far more per capita than other countries on health care’

TAPPER: “So, let’s talk about the single-payer health care plan proposal. You said on this program on January 3 that you would release a plan on how to pay for it before the Iowa caucuses. You repeated that pledge on the night of the State of the Union address. We’re now just two weeks and one day away. Are you prepared to release those health care details today?” 
SANDERS: “Yes, as I said we would do it. And we will do that. And here’s the point that has to be made. My plan will save middle- class families thousands of dollars a year on their health care costs. We will not continue to see the drug campaigns in this country rip off the American people. Last year, Jake, the three top drug companies in America made $45 billion in profits, while seniors can’t afford the medicine they desperately need.”
TAPPER: “When –“
SANDERS: “That’s pretty crazy stuff. We will deal with that.” 
TAPPER: “When are we going to see these — these — the bottom line, how people — how you’re going to pay for this? When are we going to see those details?”
SANDERS: “Very shortly, very — look, as you well know, I mean, I introduced in 2013 comprehensive legislation. I think it was 150 pages. It’s complicated stuff. But we said we will get it out, and we will get it out. In fact, we’re going to get it out very shortly.” 
TAPPER: “I guess the reason it’s a point of contention is because you said in December that the only taxes you would raise on the middle class if you became president would be to fund your paid leave plan. But when you have released single-payer health care plans in the past or advocated for them, they did include taxes that would hit the middle class, not because you wanted to, but because they were necessary to pay for it.” 
SANDERS: “Well, if you consider a Medicare premium as a tax, you know, that’s true. Health care is expensive. But what we are doing — and this is a point — and it bothers me a little bit. Republicans often make this attack. And I’m hearing too much of it from the Clinton camp. We are eliminating private health insurance premiums. You’re not going to have to pay any. So, yes, Medicare premiums will, in fact, be there for all people. But, at the end of the day, the middle-class family, getting rid of all private health insurance premiums will save thousands of dollars a year in their health care costs. And I think most people will be appreciative. The other point I want to make here, Jake, is, you know, the vision that we’re fighting for here is one that went back to FDR, to Harry Truman. If Hillary Clinton were to say, look, this is a tough political fight, I agree with her. I’m not saying you’re going to get this done the first two days of my presidency. But I think we can rally the American people around two principles: Health care should be a right of all people. We should not be paying far more per capita than other countries on health care. And that’s the fight I’m prepared to wage.”


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